Tabernacle Baptist Church

The Tabernacle Baptist Church is located in historic Fan district of Richmond. The church was founded on May 15, 1887 as The Reservoir Mission School; on January 19, 1890 the church was renamed the West View Baptist Sunday School. Just nine days later the school became West View Baptist Church. This church was constructed in 1891 at the intersection of Cary Street and Meadow Avenue. The church was later moved and re-erected at the northeast corner of Grove Avenue and Meadow Avenue in 1900. On January 20, 1901 this building welcomed the first members for worship services, with Reverend Walter P. Hines serving as the first pastor of West View Baptist Church.

On January 6, 1907 West View Baptist Church was renamed Tabernacle Baptist Church. Following this decision, church members decided to purchase land across the street and rebuild the church there. Excavation on this site officially began on September 26, 1910. On Sunday, November 26, 1911 the congregation met at the old church and marched to the new Bible School House, the first building of the new Tabernacle Baptist Church. The church continued to expand over the years to accommodate its growing membership. In 1949 the church decided to undertake missionary work in Maymont Heights, and Tabernacle Baptist Church built a chapel in the area.

Although it originally was a member of the Dover Baptist Association, Tabernacle Baptist Church joined with other churches in the area to form the Charter Member churches of the recently created Richmond Baptist Association in 1951. Tabernacle Baptist Church was the second largest church in Virginia by 1952; however membership began to decline in the 1960s as the population began to suburbanize. On March 17, 1974 the church voted “To remain at the present location, with intensification of programs toward winning for Christ the unchurched of the Fan district and the larger inner city.” By 1989 the church began to see a net membership growth in membership, a pattern that has continued through the present.

In addition to Sunday worship services and Sunday school, Tabernacle Baptist Church offers programs for children, youth, music and social outreach. There are both vocal and handbell choirs for all ages, as well as private music lessons offered. The church also participates in distributing food baskets to families in need at Christmas and also offers a food pantry and clothes closet. Tabernacle offers a Wednesday night fellowship dinner followed by Bible study.

1925 Grove Avenue
Richmond, VA 23220


Profile prepared by Ashley Street
February, 2007